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Status of GAO Recommendations to the Department of Defense (Fiscal Years 2001-2007)

GAO-09-201R: Published: Dec 11, 2008. Publicly Released: Dec 11, 2008.

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Section 402 of the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2009 required us to report to the appropriate congressional committees by the end of the 110th Congress regarding the Department of Defense's (DOD) progress in implementing GAO's recommendations over the last 7 years. During this period of time, we issued 637 reports to DOD or its components that included 2,726 recommendations. By law, agencies, including DOD, are required to submit written statements to Congress explaining actions taken in response to recommendations we have made. We follow up on the implementation status of each recommendation at least annually to determine whether DOD has instituted sufficient corrective actions. This report, which responds to this mandate, contains the results of our analysis on the implementation status of the 2,726 recommendations we made to DOD or its components in reports issued during fiscal years 2001 through 2007. Based on discussion with congressional staff, we are also providing examples of related financial accomplishments3 reported for the period, based on DOD-related work.

During fiscal years 2001 through 2007, we issued 637 reports to DOD that included a total of 2,726 recommendations. As of October 2008, of these recommendations, 758 or 28 percent are reported as open, 1,682 or 62 percent are closed-implemented, and 286 or 10 percent are closed-not implemented. Consistent with past experience that shows it takes agencies some time to implement recommendations, we found most recommendations from fiscal year 2001 have been implemented while most recommendations from fiscal year 2007 remain open. For example, of the 292 recommendations made to DOD in fiscal year 2001, 234 recommendations or 80 percent have been implemented while 12 recommendations or 4 percent remain open. The remaining 46 recommendations or 16 percent are closed but not implemented. Conversely, for the 313 recommendations we made to DOD in fiscal year 2007, 38 recommendations or 12 percent have been implemented while 265 recommendations or 85 percent are open. The remaining 10 recommendations or 3 percent are closed but not implemented.

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